Do You Feel Ashamed Because You Are “Just” a Dog Walker, Pet Sitter, Dog Trainer or Pet Groomer?


A couple of weeks ago I tagged along with my guy on a business trip of his (one of the perks of him having a corporate job). We were at a beautiful spa resort enjoying an all expenses paid work trip and I was in heaven. Heaven!

One night we had dinner with VIPs from Sam’s Club, Best Buy, Farmers Insurance and the Today Show.

Sounds impressive, huh? Don’t go there yet….

I had a beloved pet business coaching client recently say to me with more than a bit of shame: “I am just a dog walker” and I became a lioness defending her and the pet profession.

She said to me, “I live in New Jersey and ‘rank’ is very important here. When I tell people I am a dog walker they roll their eyes and look down on me.”

We talked about ‘rank’ in our call and what I told her during her coaching call is that being in the pet business is a very noble and profound profession.

Anyone who goes to ‘rank’ isn’t someone we would want to associate with anyway.

And what I want to tell her after that dinner with those VIPs is : “I am so touched, moved and inspired by how incredibly human and wonderful and ‘non-ranking’ these top-ranking executives are that I met that night.”

I was at dinner with the Today Show executive and he cried as he looked in my eyes and told me about being in New York on 9/11 and how he lived right down the street from the World Trade Center and how his apartment was filled with smoke for days and how terrified and sad he was.

And then there was the Farmers Insurance guy who talked so lovingly about his new Ridgeback puppy; he was so happy and excited about his new pup that his eyes were shining bright.

And the ‘high ranking’ Sam’s Club executive who shared about her teenage son who is a good kid and she talked about him with such pride (it was so very, very sweet).

Oh and the Best Buy lady got teary when she told me about the daughter she adopted from Guatemala when she and her husband were having a really hard time having their own kid (and of course when they adopted their Guatemala baby she promptly got pregnant).

I walked away from the lovely, lovely dinner that night with these ‘high ranking executives’ with a deeper awareness of how we are all just people trying to live our best life in the best way we know how. No one above or below (although it may seem that way at times).

We are all just tender folks having a human experience. greatness

If you are feeling shame that you are ‘just’ anything: Let the shame go. It doesn’t serve you.

You are not ‘just’ a dog walker (or a pet sitter or a dog trainer). You are a business owner and an amazing human being. Claim what you do and hold your head high. Taking care of pets is a noble profession.


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  • Lindsay Pevny January 5, 2016, 1:46 am

    I come from New Jersey – in fact, I’m visiting family right now, though I live in California these days, and it’s true about ranking, people can be so shallow here!

    So not worth it to even acknowledge that kind of nonsense, though – I admire anyone who makes dogs’ lives better, it takes a lot of patience and experience to care for an animal, especially those that are not your own. Very noble indeed!